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The most detailed images of the Sun captured show turbulent ‘boiling’ plasma patterns

More detailed images of the Sun taken revealed turbulent plasma patterns with Texas-sized cells formed as heat is transported to the surface of the star.

The images are the first taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, which is expected to mark the beginning of a new era of solar science.

The latest generation instrument will allow astronomers to reveal the details of the Sun’s surface and learn more about how space weather is formed.

This solar activity can have a significant impact on technology on Earth, reducing electrical networks, interrupting satellite communications and impacting air transport.

However, instruments such as the Inouye telescope and solar observation satellites could help scientists give more advanced warnings to help us protect our systems.

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More detailed images of the Sun taken revealed turbulent plasma patterns with Texas-sized cells formed as heat is transported to the surface of the star. This image covers an area of ​​22,600 square miles (36,500 kilometers)

More detailed images of the Sun taken revealed turbulent plasma patterns with Texas-sized cells formed as heat is transported to the surface of the star. This image covers an area of ​​22,600 square miles (36,500 kilometers)

The impressive first images of the Inouye Solar Telescope reveal patterns in the plasma that forms the surface of the Sun.

The star of our neighborhood is covered with numerous cell-like structures, each the size of the state of Texas in the US. UU., Which are the product of violent convection movements that transport heat from the depths of the interior of the Sun.

In each, the hot plasma rises in the bright center of the cell before cooling and sinking back into the star to form dark lanes that Inouye can see.

“Since the National Science Foundation began working on this ground telescope, we have looked forward to the first images,” said the director of the foundation, France Córdova.

The Inouye Solar Telescope, he added, “will be able to map the magnetic fields inside the sun’s corona, where solar eruptions occur that can affect life on Earth.”

“This telescope will improve our understanding of what drives space weather and will ultimately help forecasters better predict solar storms.”

These events are caused when the sun’s magnetic fields twist and become entangled by movements in the star’s plasma.

The impressive first images of the Inouye Solar Telescope reveal patterns in the plasma that forms the surface of the Sun. The star of our neighborhood is covered with numerous cell-like structures, each the size of the state of Texas in the US. UU., Which are the product of the violent convection movements that transport heat from the depths of the interior of the Sun.

The impressive first images of the Inouye Solar Telescope reveal patterns in the plasma that forms the surface of the Sun. The star of our neighborhood is covered with numerous cell-like structures, each the size of the state of Texas in the US. UU., Which are the product of the violent convection movements that transport heat from the depths of the interior of the Sun.

The impressive first images of the Inouye Solar Telescope reveal patterns in the plasma that forms the surface of the Sun. The star of our neighborhood is covered with numerous cell-like structures, each the size of the state of Texas in the US. UU., Which are the product of the violent convection movements that transport heat from the depths of the interior of the Sun.

In each cell, the hot plasma rises in the bright center before cooling and sinking back into the star to form dark lines that Inouye can see. This image covers an area of ​​5,000 miles (8,200 square kilometers)

In each cell, the hot plasma rises in the bright center before cooling and sinking back into the star to form dark lines that Inouye can see. This image covers an area of ​​5,000 miles (8,200 square kilometers)

In each cell, the hot plasma rises in the bright center before cooling and sinking back into the star to form dark lines that Inouye can see. This image covers an area of ​​5,000 miles (8,200 square kilometers)

The images are the first taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, pictured, which is expected to mark the beginning of a new era of solar science.

The images are the first taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, pictured, which is expected to mark the beginning of a new era of solar science.

The images are the first taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, pictured, which is expected to mark the beginning of a new era of solar science.

The latest generation instrument will allow astronomers to reveal the details of the Sun's surface and learn more about how space weather is formed.

The latest generation instrument will allow astronomers to reveal the details of the Sun's surface and learn more about how space weather is formed.

The latest generation instrument will allow astronomers to reveal the details of the Sun’s surface and learn more about how space weather is formed.

“On Earth, we can predict if it will rain very accurately anywhere in the world, but the space weather is not there yet,” said the president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Matt Mountain.

“Our predictions lag behind the earth’s climate in 50 years, if not more.”

“What we need is to understand the underlying physics behind space weather, and this begins in the sun, which is what the Inouye Solar Telescope will study.”

The telescope’s ability to solve the characteristics of the Sun with unprecedented details will allow scientists to better understand the origin of harmful solar activity, which will help us develop better protections against solar storms.

He also hoped that astronomers could use the information to increase the warning time for space weather events from around 48 minutes to 48 hours, allowing more time to secure power networks, critical infrastructure and satellites.

WHAT IS THE SOLAR TELESCOPE DANIEL K. INOUYE?

In the image, the Daniel K. Inouye solar telescope at the summit of Haleakalā

In the image, the Daniel K. Inouye solar telescope at the summit of Haleakalā

In the image, the Daniel K. Inouye solar telescope at the summit of Haleakalā

The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is an installation of the US National Science Foundation. UU. Located on the Haleakalā volcano in Maui, Hawaii.

To observe the Sun with unprecedented details, the telescope has a mirror of 13 feet (4 meters), the largest ever seen by a solar telescope.

The surrounding observatory is located about 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) above sea level at the top of the mountain, offering astronomers incomparable viewing conditions.

The state-of-the-art adaptive optical technology allows the telescope to focus accurately while compensating for blurring of images caused by light passing through Earth’s atmosphere.

To protect Inouye from the enormous heat generated by focusing around 13 kilowatts of solar energy, the telescope has a specialized cooling system that includes more than 11 kilometers of pipes.

This system even uses ice that is generated on site at night.

At the same time, the dome that covers the telescope is covered by thin cooling plates and blinds that help maintain a constant temperature around the instrument.

A liquid-cooled metal donut known as ‘heat stop’ acts to block most of the Sun’s energy so that it doesn’t reach the main mirror, allowing scientists to examine specific regions of the star’s surface with a incomparable detail.

Formerly known as the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, the facility was renamed in honor of Hawaii’s late senator, Daniel K. Inouye, who was a strong advocate of science and technology.

“The Inouye solar telescope, for the first time, can make the most difficult measurements of the sun,” said telescope director Thomas Rimmele.

“After more than 20 years of work by a great team dedicated to designing and building a first level solar research observatory, we are close to the finish line.”

“I am extremely excited to be positioned to observe the first sunspots of the new solar cycle that is now increasing with this incredible telescope.”

To observe the Sun with unprecedented details, the telescope has a mirror of 13 feet (4 meters), the largest ever seen by a solar telescope

To observe the Sun with unprecedented details, the telescope has a mirror of 13 feet (4 meters), the largest ever seen by a solar telescope

To observe the Sun with unprecedented details, the telescope has a mirror of 13 feet (4 meters), the largest ever seen by a solar telescope

“It’s about the magnetic field,” said Thomas Rimmele, director of the Inouye Solar Telescope.

‘To unravel the greatest mysteries of the sun, we have to […] being able to clearly see these small structures from 93 million miles away, “he explained.

In addition to this, he added, we must be able to “measure very precisely the intensity and direction of its magnetic field near the surface and track the field as it extends towards the one million degree crown, the sun’s outer atmosphere “.

“It is an exciting time to be a solar physicist,” added the director of the National Solar Observatory Valentin Pillet.

“The Inouye Solar Telescope will provide a remote perception of the outer layers of the sun and the magnetic processes that occur in them.”

These processes then propagate to the solar system, he added, where spacecraft that observe the sun, such as NASA’s Parker solar probe and the European Space Agency’s solar orbiter, which will launch on February 5, will study its effects.

“Together, they constitute a genuinely multi-messenger company to understand how stars and their planets are magnetically connected,” concluded Dr. Pillet.

“This image is just the beginning,” said astronomer David Boboltz of the National Science Foundation, which oversees the telescope’s operations.

“For the next six months, the team of scientists, engineers and technicians of the Inouye telescope will continue testing and commissioning the telescope so that it is ready for use by the international solar scientific community.”

“The Inouye Solar Telescope will collect more information about our sun during the first five years of its useful life than all the solar data collected since Galileo first pointed a telescope at the sun in 1612.”

WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES OF SOLAR STORMS AND WHAT ARE THEIR EFFECTS?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) uses its space weather scales to classify solar storms.

They were presented as a way of communicating to the general public the current and future conditions of space weather and their possible effects on people and systems.

The scales describe environmental disturbances for three types of events: geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms and radio blackouts.

The scales have numbered levels, similar to hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that transmit severity.

G5 – Extreme

Power systems: generalized voltage control problems and protection system problems may occur. Some network systems may experience a complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may be damaged.

Spacecraft operations: you may experience a large surface load, orientation problems, uplink / downlink and tracking satellites.

Other systems: pipe currents can reach hundreds of amps, high frequency radio propagation can be impossible in many areas for one or two days, satellite navigation can degrade for days, low frequency radio navigation can being out for hours, and the aurora has been deactivated seen as low as Florida and southern Texas (typically 40 ° geomagnetic latitude).

G4 – Serious

Power systems: possible generalized voltage control problems and some protection systems will mistakenly trigger key network assets.

Spacecraft operations: they may experience loading and surface tracking problems, corrections for orientation problems may be required.

Other systems: induced pipe currents affect preventive measures, sporadic HF radio propagation, degraded satellite navigation for hours, interrupted low frequency radio navigation and the aurora has been seen as low as Alabama and Northern California (typically 45 ° geomagnetic latitude).

G3 – Strong

Power systems: voltage corrections may be required, false alarms are activated in some protection devices.

Spacecraft operations: surface loading may occur in satellite components, drag may increase in satellites of low Earth orbit and corrections may be necessary for orientation problems.

Other systems: Intermittent satellite navigation and low frequency radiofrequency problems may occur, the HF radio may be intermittent and the aurora has been as low as Illinois and Oregon (typically 50 ° geomagnetic latitude).

G2 – Moderate

Energy systems: high latitude energy systems may experience voltage alarms, long-lasting storms can cause damage to the transformer.

Spacecraft operations: ground control may require corrective guidance actions; Possible changes in resistance affect the predictions of the orbit.

Other systems: HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes, and the aurora has been as low as New York and Idaho (typically 55 ° geomagnetic latitude).

G1 – Minor

Energy systems: weak fluctuations in the power grid may occur.

Spacecraft operations: Possible minor impact on satellite operations.

Other systems: migratory animals are affected at this level and at higher levels; The aurora is commonly visible in high latitudes (northern Michigan and Maine).

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